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Online degrees available. Online education gives you flexibility to take classes that fit your schedule.Online degrees available. Online education gives you flexibility to take classes that fit your schedule.


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The Associate of Applied Science degree program in Nursing emphasizes patient-centered approaches to nursing care. The graduate nurse is able to provide highly skilled nursing care for patients and families in a variety of health care delivery settings. The program of learning includes the study of clinical application of nursing theory and principles. The graduate is eligible to apply to take the NCLEX examination to become a registered nurse.

Admission Policies for Associate of Applied Science in Nursing 

The RSCC Academic Council has established (for both beginning and transfer students) the following requirements in considering applicants for admission into the Associate of Applied Science Degree Nursing Program.

  1. Applicants must:
    1. Apply and be accepted to RSCC.
    2. Submit high school transcripts or GED equivalent and transcripts of all previous college work to the Admissions and Records Office.
    3. Take the ACT exam (for applicants under 21 years of age).
    4. Satisfy any required Learning Support competencies prior to the application deadline to the nursing program as determined by the requirements specified in the Admission Requirements of the RSCC catalog under “General Student Classifications.”
    5. Pass the nursing pre-admission test by the application deadline.  Pre-admission testing for entrance into the Nursing program is waived for those applicants with a previously earned associate degree or above from an accredited college (SACSCOC or equivalent accrediting body.)
  2. In addition to requirements above, applicants must meet requirement A, B, C, and D below prior to the published application deadline.
    1. Be a minimum of 18 years old by the end of spring semester in the year petitioning for admission related to clinical requirements.
    2. Complete at least 13 of the 27 required credit hours of Nursing general education courses including: ENGL 1010, MATH 1530, BIOL 2010, and PSYC 1030
    3. Complete the required general education courses with a grade of "C" or above.
    4. Achieve a 2.75 GPA (GPA is calculated only on the required general education courses).
    5. Licensed Practical Nurses may be admitted by fulfilling the following:
      1. Meet requirements A, B, C, and D in the above Section I.
      2. Meet requirements A and C in Section II.
      3. Pass a proficiency exam. If graduation from an LPN program has been 3 years or less, the proficiency exam requirement is waived.
      4. Complete at least 10 of the 27 required credit hours of Nursing general education courses including: MATH 1530, BIOL 2010, and PSYC 1030.
      5. Achieve a 2.5 GPA (GPA is calculated only on the required general education courses).
  3. Only nursing specialty courses which were completed within three years prior to applying for admission or readmission will be considered. Science courses more than five (5) years old will not be considered.
  4. An information session will be scheduled in early summer (date to be published) for all accepted students.  Students will receive information about health requirements, background checks, CPR, uniforms and other program requirements.  Students will be permitted to register for nursing classes after attending the information session.
  5. A mandatory orientation to the nursing program will be scheduled prior to the first day of classes. Prior to this orientation students must submit:
    1. A completed physical examination providing evidence of physical status necessary for practice in all areas of nursing care.
    2. Proof of current American Heart Association (AHA) CPR certification that includes one-person, two-person and infant and child CPR (Health Care Provider).
    3. Evidence of completed background check and urine drug screening. Must be conducted after the student has turned 18 years of age.
    4. Students who do not attend this orientation and submit physical examinations and proof of AHA CPR certification by the the due date will be withdrawn from the program.
  6. Health:
    1. Even though preliminary admission to the Nursing Program has been granted, a student will be required to undergo a physical exam/health verification before final admission to the program. Students will be required, during the course of the program to demonstrate their physical and/or emotional fitness to meet the essential requirements of the program. Such essential requirements include freedom from communicable diseases, the ability to perform certain tasks and suitable emotional fitness. Any appraisal measures used to determine such physical and/or emotional fitness will be in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Core performance standards for admission and progression which comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 are listed in the catalog under Career Preparation Programs.
    2. Students in the RSCC nursing program may be exposed to blood, body fluids and communicable diseases. In addition there are other potential risks such as physical injury and exposure to ionizing radiation. Nursing students must comply with the various health and safety requirements mandated by the clinical agency to participate in any required clinical experience. Health, safety, and immunization requirements are established by the clinical affiliate (hospital, clinic, community setting, etc.) and not Roane State. These include having personal health insurance. Students are to carry personal health insurance and are responsible for costs incurred due to injury or illness while enrolled.
  7. Other
    1. Criminal background checks and urine drug screens are a requirement of affiliated clinical sites utilized for training in the nursing program. Based on the results of these checks, an affiliated clinical site may determine to not allow a student's presence at their facility. This would result in the student's inability to successfully complete the requirements of  the Nursing Program. Students will be responsible for the costs of the background check and urine drug screens. Additionally, a criminal background may preclude licensure or employment. More information is available from the Division Dean or program director.
    2. Evidence of malpractice insurance is required prior to participating in any clinical learning experience. The fee is included in the student’s tuition and fees as an additional charge and will be listed as “liability insurance”.
    3. Students will be required to provide nursing care under supervision for patients with infectious diseases. Any student refusing assignment to an infectious patient may be subject to dismissal from the program.
    4. The applicant must report if any license in any health care field has been suspended, revoked or denied.
    5. Additional testing and counseling may be recommended on an individual basis.
    6. The RSCC policy of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions applies to all students regardless of the program in which they are enrolled. In cases where alcohol and drug violations occur, disciplinary action, as well as the decision whether to test for alcohol or drugs, will be processed through the Division Dean and the office of the Dean of Students/Student Services. Please refer to the nursing handbook for further information. Failure to correct the problem will result in termination from the Nursing Program.
    7. There are additional expenses for the nursing program.  Uniforms are required.  Financial Aid may be available.  Questions should be directed to the Financial Aid office.

The Nursing Admissions Committee considers all eligible applicants and recommends applicants for acceptance into the Nursing Program.  Students who have not met minimum requirements will not be considered. All students meeting minimum criteria will be considered competitively, using the published applicant ranking tool. It will be to the applicant's benefit to complete as many general education courses as possible by application deadline. The earlier application date may also be considered if admission ranking is equal. MEETING MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS DOES NOT GUARANTEE ACCEPTANCE. Preference will be given to Tennessee residents.

Transferring Nursing Students  

RSCC General Student classification admission policies for transfer students apply to transferring nursing students. Students wishing to transfer nursing credits must meet RSCC general admissions requirements. Nursing Program admission requirements must also be met with the exception of the nursing pre-admission test. A letter of recommendation including evidence of clinical and lab competency must be submitted from the director of the previous nursing program. The student must be eligible to progress in their previous program.  No nursing courses earned in a school of practical nursing may be credited by transfer, although academic courses, if earned through a college or university, will be evaluated for transfer. Nursing courses from an ACEN accredited or state approved School of Nursing will be evaluated for transfer on an individual basis.

Retention Policies

  1. The student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. A “C” must be achieved in required general education and nursing courses in order to progress.
  2. A student must satisfactorily complete each clinical rotation in order to continue in the program. A grade of “incomplete” must be removed prior to the first clinical day of the following semester in order to progress to the next nursing course.
  3. The student must carry professional liability insurance while enrolled in nursing courses.
  4. The student must maintain CPR Certification while enrolled in the nursing program.
  5. The student must abide by the course and clinical policies as outlined in the Student Nurse Handbook. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program.

Readmission Procedures 

  1. Only one readmission to the nursing program is permitted. Readmission to the nursing program is also contingent upon the availability of space. Requirements for initial admission to the nursing program with the exception of the 5-year requirement for science courses must be met in order for a student to be considered for readmission. Students with previous unsatisfactory clinical performance must be recommended for readmission by consensus of the nursing faculty. Students seeking readmission to the nursing program must have an exit interview and state their intention in writing to the Program Director. For fall readmission, the exit interview and statement are due by April 1. For spring semester readmission, the exit interview and statement are due by October 1.
  2. If two “D” grades or below are received in nursing courses, the student will be dismissed from the program and is not eligible for readmission into the nursing program.
  3. Students repeating nursing courses must repeat both theoretical, clinical, and laboratory components of the course.
  4. Students readmitted who have not been continuously enrolled in clinical courses must submit a new criminal background check, urine drug screen and physical exam form.
  5. Readmitted students must complete all graduation requirements in effect for the program at the time of readmission.

Legal Limitations for Licensure

A graduate of an approved school of nursing who has been convicted of a violation of the law other than a minor traffic violation may be denied a nursing license. A graduate’s eligibility for licensure is determined on an individual basis. Applicants for initial licensure in Tennessee must obtain a criminal background check no more than 6 months prior to making application.  Information about this process is supplied to students in the final year of the program.  The Tennessee Board of Nursing Web site has more detailed information about this requirement.  Interested parties should consult the Board of Nursing Rules and Regulation.

Academic Advisement

Nursing faculty provide academic advisement for prospective nursing students as well as for those students admitted into the program. The faculty assist students with scheduling classes and dealing with academic concerns. Students should contact a faculty member for advisement as needed. It is recommended that students experiencing academic difficulties make an appointment and discuss this with a faculty member as soon as possible.

Core Performance Standards for Admission and Progression 

The Roane State Community College Nursing Program has adopted the following core performance standards. Admission to and progression in the nursing program is not based on these standards, rather they will be used to assist each student in determining whether accommodations or modifications are necessary.

If a student believes that he or she cannot meet one or more of the standards without accommodations or modifications, the nursing program will determine, on an individual basis, whether or not the necessary accommodations or modifications can be made reasonably.

Below are the issues, standards and some examples of necessary activities:

Critical Thinking - Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgement. (Identify cause/effect relationships in clinical situations, develop nursing care plans.)

Interpersonal - Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. (Establish rapport with patients/clients and colleagues.)

Communication - Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form. (Explain treatment procedures, initiate health teaching, document and interpret nursing actions and patient/client responses.)

Mobility - Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces. (Move around in patient’s room, work spaces, and treatment areas, administration of cardiopulmonary procedures.)

Motor Skills - Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to providing safe and effective nursing care. (Calibrate and use equipment; position patients/clients.)

Hearing - Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. (Hear monitor alarm, emergency signals, auscultatory sounds, cries for help.)

Visual - Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in nursing care. (Observe patient/client responses.)

Tactile - Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment. (Perform papation, functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention, e.g. insertion of catheters.)


The Associate Degree nursing program at Roane State Community College at the Harriman Campus located in Harriman, TN 37748, the Knox County Center for Health Sciences located at 132 Hayfield Road, Knoxville, TN 37922 and the Oak Ridge Branch Campus located at 701 Briarcliff Ave., Oak Ridge, TN 37830 is accredited by the: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 39326, (404) 975-5000. The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Associate Degree nursing program is continuing accreditation.

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